Recently, Irish Independent journalist Liam Collins had dinner with former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds at the luxurious, five stars, Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin 4.
Collins expressed shock at how expensive the wine was but Reynolds with a (royal?) wave of his hand replied.
“Don’t mind that, I haven’t bought you a drink in a long time, just pick something you like.”
Collins doesn’t say if his friend Albert also paid for the meal but I think it’s a safe bet that he did.
Given Collins’ close and rewarding friendship with Reynolds it was no surprise that the journalist went on to lavish praise on the former Taoiseach while severely castigating those who would dare question his hero’s honesty and integrity.
According to Collins the Mahon Tribunal is nothing better than a long-winded Star Chamber, an expensive charade, a sad blood sport for those with nothing better to do.
And those who still show interest in the tribunal are nothing but a “gaggle of old age pensioners with nothing better to do with their lives and a few anoraks’ from RTE.
It really is disturbing to witness large sections of the Irish media progressively lose their objectivity as a result of their very close friendships with politicians and in particular with politicians who would see such cosy relationships as a distinct advantage when they are under pressure to answer very serious questions.